Michael Maloney - Soap Opera Network
Friday, November 28, 2014 | 3:35 AM

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Michael Maloney

As they celebrated their first anniversary as hosts of "Soap Box with Lilly & Martha" on Thursday, August 21, former daytime soap stars Lilly Melgar ("General Hospital") and Martha Madison ("Days of our Lives") had soap journalist Michael Maloney, talent manager Michael Bruno and online soap reporter Michael Fairman on as guests as they discussed the week's biggest soap opera news. No story was bigger this past week than the news of Justin Hartley ("Passions," "Revenge," "Mistresses") returning to daytime television to portray a recast Adam Newman on CBS' "The Young and the Restless." According to Bruno, however, there was a chance that the role could have gone to Hartley's former "Smallville" co-star Tom Welling, "Sex and the City's" Jason Lewis or "Queer as Folk's'" Gale Harold.

It seems like just yesterday that the world was ready to nail the lid on the coffin of daytime soap operas. Ratings were low across the board, and a slew of sudsers — “Guiding Light,” “As the World Turns,” “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” — were cancelled, leaving only “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless” on the air. But to the surprise of critics and many soap fans, 2013 saw a drastic turnaround: All four remaining soap operas saw a significant increase in ratings, and “The Young and the Restless” once again made a list of the top 10 most-searched television programs of the year, among popular series like “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.” So why the complete 180 in daytime soap popularity?

You’ve no doubt devoured the hard cover version of The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell, the biography detailing William J. Bell, the late daytime legend, former talk show host and “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” creator, and now there’s a lighter version you can easily carry to the beach this summer!

In a report by Variety, Michael Maloney talks with "General Hospital's" leading man, Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer), who explains that the renewed success of the soap can be directly credited to its head writer and executive producer.

Since it was first announced that Prospect Park's The OnLine Network was looking to once again revive "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," after they were canceled by ABC in 2011, it has been said that the company planned to take the shows into a sexier and edgier environment. In a recent teaser released by iTunes for its launch of the two soaps, Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord, "OLTL") is heard saying, "My agent said, 'What do you want in this contract?' I said, 'No nudity!" Fans shouldn't expect anything too racy on either show as Prospect Park co-founder Rich Frank admitted to Michael Maloney, Contributing Editor at Bauer Publishing for Soaps In Depth, in an interview with Variety. "We are going to be a little hotter and sexier," said Frank. He added, "That doesn’t mean we’ll be doing anything that’s offensive. We’re trying to be contemporary and have storylines that are relevant to people’s lives.”

Soaps In Depth is reporting that CBS' "The Bold and the Beautiful" is about to lose another "core four" member as Susan Flannery (Stephanie Forrester) has informed producers and the shows writing team that she plans to leave the series at the end of her newly signed short-term contract. Flannery, like the departing Ronn Moss (soon-to-be ex-Ridge Forrester), has been with the show since it debuted on March 23, 1987 - more than 25 years ago!

Soap Opera Network has learned that Susan Flannery (Stephanie Forrester, "The Bold and the Beautiful") has been added to the "Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell" book signing being held today from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Barnes & Noble located at 4820 Telephone Road Ventura, CA 93003.

For those of you attending the Saturday, August 18 book signing of "The Young and the Restless Life of William J. Bell," with co-authors Lee Phillip Bell and Michael Maloney, along with Ronn Moss (Ridge Forrester, "The Bold and the Beautiful"), Doug Davidson (Paul Williams, "The Young and the Restless") and Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren Fenmore, "The Young and the Restless"), who are all scheduled to attend, please take note of the following information courtesy of Barnes & Noble Ventura, which will be hosting the event.

On Saturday, August 18, Lee Phillip Bell (pictured right, with William J. Bell) and Michael Maloney (Soaps in Depth), co-authors of "The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell" will be signing copies of their book at Barnes & Nobles Ventura from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM PT.

According to Entertainment Weekly's Tanner Stransky, CBS' "The Bold and the Beautiful" is about to lose 25 year veteran Ronn Moss (Ridge Forrester) after a contract dispute between the actor and the soap opera over salary hit a snag. A rep for Bell-Phillip Television, which produces "B&B," confirmed Moss' exit to Weekly.